Sean Chambers considered giving up football after latest injury
LARAMIE -- Sean Chambers was all smiles tonight.
In all reality, he was downright giddy.
No one likes practice, right? Just ask Allen Iverson. The same can't be said for Wyoming's sophomore quarterback who just went through six months of rehab after breaking his left leg. It was his third season-ending injury in as many years.
Getting back inside a snowy War Memorial Stadium today for the start of Wyoming spring practice was just what he needed.
His bright grin gave that away immediately.
"I feel good," Chambers said. "I'm just happy to be back out there playing football and running around. I'm so happy right now. So happy. I mean, good vibes all around."
The last time you saw Chambers he was writhing on the sun-bleached turf inside Mackay Stadium in Reno. He was carted off the field, tears in his eyes with both hands grasping his helmet. He later appeared on the visiting sideline on crutches with a brace on his leg. National television cameras captured a broken man, sobbing on the sidelines on a cell phone.
Those days, he hopes, are behind him forever.
Chambers doesn't want to think about the past, especially last season, taking a page out of head coach Craig Bohl's book. He now wears the No. 2. He said there was "bad juju" in that 12 jersey.
"It just really wasn't working," he added.
Plus, the change is an homage to his brother, Nick Chambers, who is a year older.
Chambers knows you have questions. We all do. Despite his 9-3 record as a starter, the Kerman, Calif., product has yet to prove he can be a consistent passer, completing less than 45% of his passes. In fact, he has never connected on more than nine in a game.
His running abilities are a different story.
Chambers has carried the ball 130 times for nearly 800 yards. He's also rushed for 12 touchdowns.
Chambers certainly isn't looking back, but he's not looking too far ahead either. He's enjoying the moment and setting goals for himself as he embarks on his first season under new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Tim Polasek.
He has two objectives this spring.
"First off, I want to get the playbook down and, you know, get a good grasp on the offense and take that into the summer," he said. "And hopefully I'm going to get back into playing shape again. You know, I didn't play much of any football last year. I mean, people played a little less when spring ball got canceled and I played even less."
Nothing was dampening Chambers' mood today, but he did profess something he hasn't made public before -- He considered giving up.
"I did," Chambers admitted. "I did some thinking and I just went to a dark place. You know, I just thought that football wasn't for me. Football, you know, is the worst thing in the world, especially college football. I've had so much fun playing football in college, but three straight season-ending injuries (made me go) to a dark place.
"I thought about it, but with support from my family, my friends, my roommates, my teammates, I knew that football was for me. I knew that I could come back and I can do this thing again. So, I've got a good mindset now and some positive energy. So, it should be fun."
With a little push from his mother, Britteny Chambers, and some restless nights and long rehab sessions, the ultimate decision was made.
"She said no one's going to be disappointed if you decide to walk away," he said of his talks with his mom, "but that's just not in my nature. I'm not a quitter. When I set out to start things, I intend to finish them."
Bohl said Chambers is still not at 100% but he's "functional." He added that his quarterback and team captain shouldn't have many limitations, if any, as the Cowboys' begin 15 practices in Laramie that will culminate in the annual spring game on May 8.
Chambers was like a schoolboy out on the playground today. Bohl said he completed some good passes and ran around, but maybe got a little discouraged that he isn't yet fully healthy.
Bohl also noticed Chambers beaming.
"He's got a very determined look," Bohl said. "He's got a great smile. This is super for him to out there. I can tell you, it was great to see him."
Chambers' raved about the offensive line play today. He lauded his tight ends, wide receivers and a crop of running backs that he said will take plenty of the load off of him this fall.
The banter about completion percentages and touchdown passes will come another day. Today, however, a milestone was reached. A step in the right direction was made.
"It brings a smile to my face," Chambers said, doing that very thing. "Every time I walk in (the huddle) I see the best center in the conference and the best running back in the conference. I see three receivers and a really good tight end that can just make plays. It takes pressure off my shoulders and it makes it exciting."
Imagine this guy giving up football?
Envision more grins coming from under the facemask of No. 2.